Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest Review from Erin: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas (ARC)

So I am a HUGE fan of Sarah J. Maas!  She is one of my all-time favorite authors and the Throne of Glass series is one of my all-time favorite series!  Seriously! I will automatically buy anything she writes! I love her!

From Goodreads:

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Erin's Thoughts:

For a while now, I've been hearing about people who got to read Heir of Fire early and was super jealous of them, so when I happened to get an ARC of Heir of Fire, I was beyond excited!! I still can't believe that I got it and it makes me crazy happy.  Needless to say, Heir of Fire was amazing! I was expecting it to be incredible and I was not disappointed!

Heir of Fire follows three major storylines -- one with Celaena, one with Chaol and Dorian, and one with Manon! In book 3, you get a whole bunch of new characters --- Rowan, Sorscha, and Manon -- that are just as awesome Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian.  Sarah J. Maas is seriously so good with characters! They're so real and full of personality and feeling that you root for them no matter what.  In addition to this new cast of characters, we get to see a lot more of the world that Celaena is in -- the two previous books was set in King's castle, but Heir of Fire is set in multiples places that we've never seen before! We also get to learn more about Celaena's heritage and the potential  she has to change the world.  With Chaol and Dorian, you see them witness their struggle with the King and with Manon, the world of witches and training wyverns (dragon-like beasts) in a plot with the King! That's a really bad overview of the book but I don't think I can explain the magicalness of Sarah J. Maas!!  Definitely a highly recommended read!!

Overall Rating:

I would give this book/series like a million bookies if I could because that's just how amazing they are!! Eeek! I guess the only thing I'm upset about is that I'm going to have to wait another whole year to read the fourth! Aaah!! I can only imagine what's going to happen!

And if you didn't know already, the Throne of Glass series is a six-book series!!! Super exciting for us readers! We have three whole books to look forward to in the coming years! And also, if you haven't heard, Sarah J. Maas is going to be releasing a new series in 2015 called A Court of Thorns and Roses! Doesn't that just sound beautiful?  Anyways, it's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Tam-Lin, and East of the SunWest of the Moon (you can look it up for the synopsis!!!)!!!  Ugh, I seriously cannot wait for this one either!!

Heir of Fire came out on September 2nd of this Fall!! If you haven't read Sarah J. Mass, I highly recommend that you do!  She's an amazing writer and I cannot explain to you how much I love her and her books!! Sorry for sounding like such a weirdo, but I hope you'll understand (especially if you've read her books!!!) :D

Erin @The Romance Bookie  :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Random Post #11: Reviewing a Book You Haven't Read...

Hey Everyone!

So there is something that has been bugging me for many years, but really only very recently ticked me off, like no other!  I think it's something that should be said, and while I will NOT be naming names, I will be giving examples of what I am talking about.

So I don't know if anyone else has ever noticed this, and if I'm making a big deal out of it, in your opinion, than I'm sorry, but has anyone ever seen when someone writes a review for a book, without having read it?

Well, I've run across it quite a few times.  And quite honestly it bugs me.

I have SO much respect for authors! So much! I admire their hard work.  I aspire to be one day, but have yet to find the patience to fully sit down and finish one of my many works collecting figurative dust on my computer.  So when I see someone make a negative comment about an author/book, that they haven't read, it truly bothers me.

An example...well a few weeks ago, I read The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer.  After I finish reading a book, I sometimes like to look on Goodreads and check out some of the other reviews from people, because I love meeting new people who have similar interests in books.  Anyway, as I was reading some of the reviews, I came across someone who hadn't read the book, given it a rating, but instead decided to leave a review that had the statement, "Go back to singing, buddy. Keep hitting those A#s for me."  Like I said above, I will NOT be giving names on who this comment belonged to, but the purpose of me writing about it here, is to bring my point across.

What some people may not realize is that just because you don't rate a book, but still write something in the review section, doesn't mean it doesn't show up.  In fact, on Goodreads at the top of all the book pages, just under the title, it has links for both how many ratings have been made, and how many reviews.  When you click these you are able to scroll through them and see what some people wrote about the book.

What does a negative review, even if you haven't rated the book, do?

Well, how about possibly base an opinion for others and give them a reason not to give a book a chance!

NOW, let me explain that further.

The difference between a negative comment from someone who HAS read the book and someone who HAS NOT read the book, is that how would the person who has not read the book, know if the book sucks, when they haven't even given it a chance and read it?????!!!  At least, a person who read it, and didn't like it, READ IT!  They took the time, to truly determine their opinion on the book, by reading it, and making their opinion on it.

Making assumptions on a book, based on who their author is, and making stereotypical comments on the fact that the author happens to be celebrity, in my opinion is not okay.  It could truly hurt the reputation of the author.  Which isn't fair, for those readers who would have possibly given the book a chance, before they read that rude negative comment.

I really hope this post makes sense.

My point is really that unless you have something nice to say, on a subject you don't know much about...then you probably shouldn't say anything at all.   Isn't that something we learned in elementary school??!! I should know, because I work with elementary age students Monday through Friday, and I try to get that point across daily on the playground when kids are being mean to each other.

So yes, that is my rant of the day...or more precisely my Random Post #11! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer (ARC Review)

Hey Everyone!

I'm sorry it's been a while! School started five and a half weeks ago, along with my second job at the elementary school, so life has become just a tad crazy again.  Anyway, I've got a review for you!  I just finished The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer!

Instead of giving you the Goodreads description this time around, I'm actually going to give you my own description, because personally I feel the Goodreads one, just doesn't do the book justice!

From Goodreads

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer is one of those books that if you love fairytales, you will not forget!  It is the story of Conner and Alex Bailey, twin siblings who are very different, but end up going on an incredible journey they will never forget.  When their grandmother gives them the fairytale book, that their deceased father used to read to them, for their birthday, neither of them expects to be literally pulled into the book, and into the fairytale world that they grew up on.  Now, we all know what happened before the happily ever after, but no one know what happened AFTER.

We learn that Cinderella is expected her first child; Snow White is looking for her evil stepmother, the evil queen, who has escaped from prison; Sleeping Beauty is still trying to fully wake up her kingdom; Little Red Riding Hood, has become Queen Red Riding Hood, and is a tad obsessed with herself; and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, is trying to find his lost love...Goldilocks, who is wanted for thievery, burglary, and running from the law.

Along the way, Alex and Conner have to find a way back home! And the only way out is by finding the items for a spell called, The Wishing Spell.  In order to complete the spell they must find things like, one of Cinderella's glass slippers, a piece of Red Riding Hood's basket, and a few others things.  With each item they find, more and more danger awaits them; but with the help of some lovely friends along the way, they may just be able to do it.  Just as long as the evil queen does not get in their way!

My Thoughts:

So I have a confession...I actually finished this book a couple of weeks ago.  But because of my busy schedule and the fact that this book was for a class project, it took me a lot longer than usual to write my review for it.  Which reminds me...I am SO sorry that I haven't written more reviews lately, but honestly my schedule this semester is once again pretty crazy!  I've been reading the same book for the past few weeks, because I just haven't had as much time as I'd like for reading.  I have my two jobs, plus night classes, plus spending time with my boyfriend and family...but don't worry guys, I'm making it all work :).

Wow, I can't even tell you how much I loved this book! Absolutely beautiful!

I am a HUGE fairytale fan.  I grew up on all the originals by the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Anderson, because my mom would read them to me before bed.  I LOVED them!

Now, what I honestly never thought about, and what I loved about Chris Colfer's debut was the concept of What Happens After the Happily After.  While most people try to ruin the whole Happily Ever After for us, when they make up stories about the after, I LOVED that Chris adds more drama, but at the same time keeps the overall story and love of the fairytale world intact.

So, as I mentioned above, this book was read for a class project for my Child Literature class, I'm taking this semester.  We had to pick any chapter book for grades 3-6, and because I've been wanting to read this book since it first came out in 2012, I knew this was my perfect chance, especially when I saw it in the elementary school library I work at!  And trust me when I say, I am SOOOOOOO glad I picked this book!

A part of the project was not only writing a paper on the book, but also thinking of someway to promote the book for children, who may not be such big readers.  I worked DAYS on this project, because when it comes to reading, I am serious about promoting it to kids, and HECK EVERYONE! I even ended up making TWO posters, because I figured out an even better idea for getting my point across.  So after days of laboring (okay, let's be serious, I did it because I truly enjoyed it!), I finally finished and this is what came out of it...

The Final Project
The original poster I was going to turn in

I am proud to say my poster got the point across.  I was showing the small group I worked with, and there first response as I unrolled my "boring" poster (the reason I say "boring" is because some people had come up with super creative ways of promoting their books, including a remote control motorcycle with a cat toy mouse, riding on the back for Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle; and then another was of a box with a bunch of things representing items from a book, while the presenter played out a role playing exercise, where she read a letter and played a song on a recorder), was "WOW!" It was so great! My teacher, who was walking by at that moment, even said, "Wow, I already want to read the book, and I haven't even heard what it's about!" Apparently, my poster got the point across, because it truly looked like something out of a fairytale world! (You can't see it really in the picture, but the entire map is covered in glitter).  It was 100% worth all the hard work!

So anyway, back to the book...

Overall rating (If you haven't already guessed)...  

This book was AMAZING! It may be considered a children's book, but heck I loved it and I am 23!  It was such a refreshing change from the adult novels I've been having to read lately, for authors, publishers, and others.  It really makes me want to read more!  In fact, I wasn't even half way through the book, and I found myself going to buy the second one, because I was already loving it so much! So hopefully soon, you'll be seeing the review for book two in The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer!

Thanks Everyone! Have a great rest of your week! :)

The Romance Bookie :)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 (Twilight Graphic Novel #1) by Stephenie Meyer (Illustrated by Young Kim)

I've been meaning to read Twilight: The Graphic Novel  forEVER!! So when I found it for $4 in a Florida Books-a-Million, I grabbed at the chance to FINALLY read it!! :)

From Goodreads:

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret...

Beautifully rendered, this first installment of Twilight: The Graphic Novel 

My Thoughts:

I recently saw one of the students at the school I work at reading New Moon, and it made me get in the mood to read one of the books again.  I was looking at my to-be-read bookshelf yesterday, and that's when I saw Twilight The Graphic Novel on my shelf!  So I knew it was perfect!

Anyway, I will admit I was a tad disappointed by the outcome.  The drawings were BEAUTIFUL, that was definitely not it.  But seeing the facial expressions throughout, it made me not like the artist's interpretation of Bella.

I noticed Bella's bitchiness more when she first meets Jessica and Eric.  Her facial expressions were so rude and conceded I thought, it kind of ruined the experience for me, because to me, in the book, Bella always came off as shy; but in this one she had this really mean expression on her face in the graphics, in my opinion.  Another example too, is when Edward saves Bella in the crash scene (when Tyler almost runs her over in the parking lot)...

Does she look mad, for the fact that someone just saved her life???

Also one thing I noticed in the drawings...Bella's character always has this weird tear-drop shape somewhere on her face...does that mean something in manga??? (see above picture!)

Also I would NOT recommend reading this without having read the first book first!! This book is a pretty choppy short-cut look into the first novel, Twilight.

Overall rating:

I'm going to be honest and say that this book did not prove my love for Twilight.  In fact, it may have dimmed it just a little.  But at the same time, it was only person's interpretation of one of my favorite book series, so I really shouldn't let it get to me!  It is a fun collection piece though!  The drawings are beautiful, I especially like how she would add color to some pages to emphasize certain parts of the book.

This is only volume 1!  It ends when Edward is driving Bella home from the meadow scene, which I believe is Chapter 13 in the book.

The Romance Bookie :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pie Girls by Lauren Clark (ARC Review)

Hey Everyone!

Sorry it's been a while again, since my last book review.  Unfortunately, life has hit its crazy point again.  Both school and my other job have started again, so I'm working Monday through Saturdays, with late days during the week.  I'm trying to find some time here and there to read, but since homework has been piled on since Day 1, and work is taking up A LOT of my time, the book reviews will be further and further apart again for at least a while.

Anyway I've finished Lauren Clark's latest release...Pie Girls!!

From Goodreads:

Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.

But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.

Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever. 

Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.

My Thoughts:

This book had a great story, with some great characters, and delicious delicious pie.  Heck, I actually am dying for a slice of cherry pie right now!

Searcy with her high maintenance attitude, and high end city lifestyle just needed a slap in the face...which she got, when her husband broke the news to her.  Personally, I think she needed it, and it was served very nicely.

I didn't really start getting to know the real Searcy until she made the move back to her hometown of Fairhope, Alabama.  That was where we were introduced to the sexy bike shop owner, Luke, her old best friend from high school, Tobi, and her "enemy" from high school, Hayley.

Wow, the array of different personalities in that town! So great!

Overall I have only one complaint about this book...few things were a little rushed for me, and seemed a little unrealistic at times.  For instance, the ending...the epilogue, to be more specific.  I wanted more information on Searcy and Luke's relationship, so when the ending came along, I didn't really feel there was enough build up leading up to it.

Overall rating of Pie Girls:

While I will admit Pie Girls, isn't my favorite book by Lauren Clark, I still believe it is a cute read, for someone looking for a cute easy, contemporary read.  I love how Clark brings in some of the Southern aspects, like the language, the small town love feel, and the feeling of true family, not just biologically, but also community family.

I do feel the book was rushed at times.  Things would be only semi-discussed, or not discussed, and then all of a sudden...BOOM, it was happening.  I would have like to have a bit more lead-up time during a few moments in the story.

But overall, definitely recommend it to those looking for a nice easy, fun, contemporary read! Even though this book is targeted more towards adults, because of the language and overall storyline, it's definitely a very clean read, so I think it's safe to read for anyone 16 and up.

Pie Girls by Lauren Clark has a great Southern Charm to it!

You can find your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

Thanks everyone! And hope you all have a fabulous weekend! :)

The Romance Bookie :)